Lauren H: Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson, by R.B. Bernstein 

I thoroughly enjoyed this biography of Thomas Jefferson. I have to admit that I was drawn to it initially because it was on the shorter side and the last presidential biography I read took me ages to get through, but once I started reading I found this book to be very well written with a lot of great information. This biography had a balance of personal and professional information on Jefferson and the pacing made it a relatively quick read.

I found it very interesting to see some of Thomas Jefferson’s point of view on the lower points of his friendship with John Adams after reading the other side of the story; and another side as well, as Abigail played a role in the dynamic of this relationship. I was also surprised to learn that Jefferson’s wife asked him not to remarry on her deathbed, which I think sheds a different light on the rumors of his alleged relationship with Sally Hemings.

Jefferson accomplished so much during his life in the formative years of the United States and Bernstein does an excellent job of outlining his successes and his weaknesses.

Overall, I thought this was a great biography and would be enjoyed by those who aren’t typically drawn to nonfiction.

Original Review

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